Exploring the Depths of Existence: An Interview with Jean Arno – Artist, Philosopher, and Poet

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Author | Raphael Ciccarelli

Welcome to our interview with Jean Arno, an artist and tech entrepreneur who has made a name for himself through his groundbreaking use of new technologies like the metaverse and AI in his work. We had the privilege of meeting Jean after his captivating talks at Harvard University’s Night of Ideas and at MIT’s book launch of “Soliloquies,” a thought-provoking collection of aphorisms and reflections.


As a digital artist, poet, and philosopher, Jean Arno strives to enrich his art and philosophy by incorporating these new technologies. By creating one’s own tools, one can bring to life their unique artistic visions. For Jean, the aim is to make the soul dance on the cord of the heart and to make music for oneself—sown music. His aesthetic manifesto, “The Art of Totality,” defines chaosism as the embodiment of life’s complexity. Through his symbolic and palimpsestic art and poetry, Jean offers a multiplied vision of reality, extending each aphorism by recomposing the different fragments and contributing to a symphony of musical and colorful thought.

What sets Jean Arno apart is his belief that every artist, thinker, and writer has a sacred duty to delve deep within themselves, uncover their inner light, and share it with the world. He sees this as crucial in shaping a better future and sparking a new era of humanity. Join us as we explore the mind of Jean Arno, discovering his innovative ideas and approaches to art and technology.

Can you tell us a little more about your creative process and how you approach writing?

It is essential to recognize that the language we produce is the result of our interactions with the outside world. Like Rimbaud and the surrealists who came before me, I believe that self-exploration is necessary to embrace the full extent of our inner strength and that it is essential to learn to feel the world in various ways—multidimensionally, synesthetically, and symbolically. In this sense, creating is first and foremost an ontological quest, a mystical and transcendent exploration, an experience of appropriating the worlds within ourselves, and of alchemy, of transformation, before it becomes a piece of writing or visual art. Before one can vibrate fully and nobly and let dance the music of the soul on the heart’s strings, one must fully possess oneself. Writing is merely the result of this inner journey, during which the spark transforms into a fire perfumed with symphonies, and the soul becomes unique and truly itself—its own song. By sculpting oneself, one shapes and refines one’s personal style. Thus, the very music of the heart emerges and can spread its light over the world.

What effect does your philosophical background have on your writing style?

Philosophy forms the foundation of a certain state of mind—one that is augmented, strengthened by its ability to inquire, delve deeper, and enhance the world and the existence that it investigates and masters.

Every education should aim to cultivate this ideal philosophical mindset, which defines an art of being and living characterized by a constant, perpetual movement of the will that matures, develops, multiplies, and conquers all ontic forces. In my view, philosophy is destined to culminate in poetry, which represents its transcendence or, alternatively, its crowning achievement. To use a more poetic expression, the objective is to elevate and direct one’s inner forces to the highest level of achievement, or their ultimate destiny.

Could you explain the term “palimpsestic” and how it applies to your writing and art?

Palimpsestic, a neologism coined from the noun “palimpsest,” refers to a manuscript whose original text has been erased and replaced with a new one. In the context of literature or art, this term signifies the multiplication of worldviews and life experiences within the unity of a work. This art of multiple, totalizing perspectives not only maintains the complex and plural nature of reality but also infinitely expands one’s literary or artistic vision by employing various creative mediums, such as music, poetry, and theater. My aim with the aesthetic manifesto “Chaosism & Symphonism: The Art of Totality” was precisely to define a profound symphonic literature or art that incorporates hidden mysteries within multiple layers of meaning that endlessly enrich the initial signification and can only be conquered by an active reader. Critics often prefer to use other concepts to describe my work: multivisionism, technovisionism, technotropicism, cyberism, palimpsestism, and neo-symbolism. It is a common tendency of critics to confine a thinker’s ideas within the inflexible boundaries of concepts.

You have just released your book, “Soliloquies,” a collection of philosophical and poetic aphorisms. Where does the title come from?

I was inspired to name my book “Soliloquies” because it means “thoughts for myself” and comes from the great philosopher and emperor Marcus Aurelius. My parents were academic experts in ancient history, and during my upbringing, they exposed me to works like Homer’s “Odyssey” and “Iliad” at a young age, which sparked my fascination for ancient authors. I hold their ideas and philosophies in high regard and have since delved into the works of other ancient philosophers such as Cicero, Seneca, Plotinus, and Porphyry. Choosing “Soliloquies” as my book’s title is a tribute to my parents and the philosophers whose words have guided me through life’s challenges. Writing has been a necessity to me, and I have explored my unique style over the years to express my soul’s colors. Also, my grandfather, who just passed away, used to say that not sharing our ideas is a fault against humanity, so I wrote this book to inspire and guide others and be a voice for those who have lost theirs or never had one. I believe that philosophy and poetry are an ontological quest for self-discovery and self-overcoming, an art of being and of living to reach one’s potential and become fulfilled. “Soliloquies” is full of wisdom about life and existence and will accompany readers in the storm and zenith of their lives, providing advice for a fulfilled life, like those of Heraclitus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, La Rochefoucauld, Nietzsche, and Gibran.

Could you tell us about this book and the themes you explore in it?

This book delves into various subjects that carry great personal meaning to me. One of the focal points is the transformative and unifying power of love, which helps us reach our fullest potential, much like alchemical fire that blends and overcomes the fragments of matter to ascend to greater heights: “A new blaze kindles, and every substance awakens with vigor”; “All artwork inspired by a supreme love of life shines with eternal brilliance”; or “In the vertigo of love, the notes of the soul collaborate to compose a superior symphony.” 

It is important that we resist the negative influences that seek to diminish our inner strength and distance us from our destiny: “Slander is a refuge of impotence”; “Vanity inexorably prevails over honesty”; or “Certainty poisons the spirit and clouds the mind.”

As individuals, we are called upon to fulfill our potential: “As one delves deeper within, the path of destiny brightens”; “To reach the height of one’s destiny, one must call upon the fiery forces of passion”; or “It is up to each to be the architect of their own kingdom.”

Each of us should contribute to the betterment of humanity, especially artists and thinkers who have a special role to play in creating a brighter future through their work, those who must tap into the various forces that shape our existence to do so: “Every work of art adds its soulful hues to the world”; or “Behold! Humanity blazes beyond the confines of self.”

We must be cautious and avoid succumbing to materialistic tendencies that can lead us away from true spiritual elevation. Rather than seeking comfort, we must push ourselves to exalt beauty and feeling, even in difficult times: “Insipid is the beauty that the soul has deserted”; or “Color the world with the music of your soul.”

Our society has grown complacent and avoids grappling with complex ideas, leading to a lack of aspiration and triviality and a preference for pessimism disguised as realism: “Turmoil is preferable to the monotony of the void”; or “To the cynics, the bitterness of defeated efforts.”

To combat this, we must subject our certainties to rigorous thought and embrace creativity: “Thinkers are tasked with delving deeper into reality, while artists must transcend it”; or “Carve from your stone a statue of light!”

The ultimate goal is to reach the heights of the human spirit, which I imagine as a sun with the allegories of philosophy, art, and science triumphing over it: “All beings must aspire towards the supreme light of genius.”

This vision is one that I hope to inspire in others, fueling their creativity and aspirations towards a new renaissance, a colorful symphony: “A free heart only moves to the rhythm of its own music.”

What led you to choose the form of aphorism?

The reason behind my choice of aphorism as a form is that I firmly believe that great ideas can only be comprehended by a powerful mind. Moreover, the enigmatic and concise nature of aphorisms necessitates a reconstructed reasoning that engages the intelligence of the reader. The most profound truths are often concealed in mystery, even when they appear to be transparent, similar to how light can be the most elegant mask for an enigma.

As a genuine thinker, I disseminate these sparkling fragments of my thoughts worldwide, seeking like-minded individuals who share my passion for life and are committed to the sacred mission of exploring knowledge, cultivating prophetic visions, inventing novel values, and crafting futures. Our colossal, magnificent, and superhuman task is to construct the grandiose palaces that our predecessors envisioned in their dreams and to refine their star with its destined light.

Through the aphoristic form, I aspire to encourage and challenge others to participate in this noble mission with me.

Is this a concept of writing similar to “Trophies”?

If you enjoyed my previous book, “Trophies,” with its hidden book within a book that offered a thrilling intellectual experience for those who could decipher its codes, you’ll want to check out “Soliloquies.” This collection of aphorisms and reflections invites you to piece together fragments of thoughts and ideas, like a symphony composed of scattered melodies. Packed with wisdom about life and existence, “Soliloquies” reflects my belief that philosophy and poetry are both a journey of self-discovery and a means of self-improvement, an art of living that enables us to reach our full potential and find fulfillment. Whether you’re going through a storm or enjoying a moment of triumph, “Soliloquies” is an invaluable guide that will provide you with the guidance and insight you need to live a truly satisfying life.

You are involved in digital art as well. What is your perspective on the development of digital art, and how do you think it will impact the future of art?

In my view, technology is more than just a tool; it can be a valuable ally for artists in extending and amplifying their being and thoughts. For me, emerging technologies like the metaverse and AI have been crucial in bringing my art to life—an art that is symbolic, poetic, mystical, multi-layered, and palimpsestic. It aims to encompass the complexities of the world. Art should no longer be limited to being seen or read; it should be experienced. These technological advancements have led to significant paradigm shifts, empowering viewers to become actors and participate in creating artwork instead of merely interpreting it. Artwork can now incorporate various mediums and forms, giving rise to a symphony that transcends traditional boundaries of genre, creating a synesthetic relationship between the mind and the world. In short, artwork can now be a multifaceted tapestry of being. We can extend this reflection to literature, which is just another form of art.

Finally, could you speak to us about your future plans and what you hope to achieve in the coming years as a writer, poet, philosopher, and artist?

I have a forthcoming book that is set to be published later this year. It’s a philosophical tale, likely to be titled “Thus Dreamed the Poet,” accompanied by symphonic poetry that delves deep into multiple dimensions, all presented in my unique palimpsestic style, enriched with music and digital art.

At present, it is undergoing translation, which I find to be the most challenging aspect. It is difficult to maintain a symbolic and enigmatic style of writing while staying true to the essence of my thoughts. Obscurity is a vital aspect of my writing. When I write in English, I feel as if a part of my soul is being compromised, because, in my perception, ideas should dance with the heart’s music. This book will be a masterpiece of poetic prose and philosophy, revealing the depths of my soul. As a writer, poet, philosopher, and artist, I hope to continue creating works that challenge and inspire others to think deeply about life’s complexities.

Thank you for taking the time to read about Jean Arno and his artistic endeavors. Through his art, philosophy, and literature, he invites us on a profound journey of self-exploration and understanding of existence. His work resonates with the ancient Delphic aphorism “know yourself,” urging us to surpass our limitations and delve into the depths of consciousness, ultimately becoming who we are meant to be, as Nietzsche once proclaimed.
“Soliloquies,” his inspiring book, ignites readers to embrace their full potential and contribute to the betterment of humanity through love, creativity, and critical thinking. Through enigmatic aphorisms, it challenges our intellect and prompts us to reevaluate our reasoning. This guide offers valuable insights for those on a quest for self-discovery and self-improvement, guiding them toward the pinnacle of human spirit.
The book serves as a testament to the significance of realizing our potential, harnessing our passionate fire, and actively shaping a brighter future. It inspires us to be the architects of our own realms, painting the world with the melodies of our souls, even in challenging times. If you seek a companion that unlocks your creativity, nurtures prophetic visions, and instills novel values, “Soliloquies” is an ideal choice. Prepare to be challenged, encouraged, and engaged in the noble pursuit of knowledge and the crafting of futures.
Additionally, Jean Arno offers other captivating works, such as his palimpsestic poem trophies and a new series of NFT digital art, featuring cyber myths and allegories. These creations further explore the depths of his artistic expression and offer unique experiences to enrich your journey.
To explore more of Jean Arno’s works, visit :


www.jeanarno.com/home
www.jeanarnaud.org
https://www.astreeedition.com/homeen

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